The Women’s College World Series appeared over. After winning Monday’s Game One of the best-of-three WCWS Finals, the Oklahoma Sooners quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead after an inning and a half in last night’s Game 2. Playing in Oklahoma City, just 25 miles from their Norman campus, everything seemed to be going the Sooners’ way.
But Auburn refused to go quietly.
The Tigers cut into the Sooners lead immediately, scoring five runs in the bottom of the second inning. With two more runs in their half of the fourth inning, the comeback was complete. Then, with the game still knotted at seven in the bottom of the eighth inning, Auburn senior Emily Carosone hit a walk-off grand slam, giving the Tigers an 11-7, extra-inning victory and forcing a decisive Game 3 tonight (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET).
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) June 8, 2016
“This WCWS has been one of the most dramatic I have experienced in over a decade covering this event,” said ESPN reporter Holly Rowe. “From heart-stopping walk off game-winners to unbelievable defensive plays, it has been the most fun. I love it!”
Rowe’s broadcasting partners echo her excitement.
“After all the dramatics in the first two games of the Finals, it is fitting that the best pitcher in the postseason [Oklahoma’s Paige Parker] meets the most dangerous lineup in the country to decide a Championship tonight,” said Beth Mowins who is on the call for Game 3.
Scorebook for Epic Game 2. Crazy 2nd inning. F7 in the 6th must have special. pic.twitter.com/BBpqPw7HPi
— Beth Mowins (@bethmowins) June 8, 2016
Analyst Michele Smith, who will be in the booth with Mowins and fellow-analyst Jessica Mendoza, says something has to give tonight: “After a day’s rest, OU is hoping Parker’s tank is full to face the most explosive offense in the country.”
“With the WCWS Finals coming down to Game 3 just proves how beautifully unpredictable the postseason is,” Mendoza said. “We are seeing the best athletes in college sports – homerun robbing, game-saving catches, strategic, gutsy back-to-back squeezes and a walk-off grand slam. . . and that is was just the last two nights.”
When either Auburn or Oklahoma is crowned a national champion tonight, it will conclude another epic season of college softball coverage on ESPN’s networks, which saw over 600 games carried across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ESPN3 and SEC Network + before postseason play began.
“The journey for our ESPN softball team starts in February just like the 295 teams that lace it up to try and get to Oklahoma City for this moment,” said coordinating producer Meg Aronowitz. “Tonight, we conclude another tremendous year for our entire staff. Both Auburn and Oklahoma will give it their best and our team covering them will be at our best tonight.”
— Meg Aronowitz (@megaronowitz) June 8, 2016
“It’s been an amazing softball season and it’s only fitting for the National Championship to finish in an epic three-game series,” Smith said.